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‘Mars Ice Home’: Team Chips Away at Off-Earth House’s Design

The first pioneers on Mars may build their homes using the ice beneath their feet.

In November, a University of Texas research team reported that Mars’ Utopia Planitia region contains about as much water, in the form of buried ice, as Lake Superior does here on Earth.

This ice layer, which spans a greater area than the state of New Mexico, lies in Mars’ mid-northern latitudes and is covered by just 3 feet to 33 feet (1 to 10 meters) of soil, the scientists determined.

The presence of accessible ice on the Red Planet warms the heart of a collaborative group at the NASA Langley Engineering Design Studio in Hampton, Virginia — an expert team that is chipping away at designing a “Mars Ice Home.”

“Ice Home is more than just a habitat, since what we really need is a new home on Mars,” said Ice Home principal investigator Kevin Kempton, of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “Our team is confident Ice Home is currently the best solution out there for an early Mars outpost.”


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